Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780745335599 Published July 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $125.00 ISBN: 9780745335605 Published July 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

At the Heart of the State

The Moral World of Institutions

Didier Fassin, et al.

At the Heart of the State

Didier Fassin, et al.

Distributed for Pluto Press

312 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9780745335599 Published July 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $125.00 ISBN: 9780745335605 Published July 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

The state is often regarded as an abstract and neutral bureaucratic entity. Against this common sense idea, At the Heart of the State argues that it is also a concrete and situated reality, embodied in the work of its agents and inscribed in the issues of its time. 

The result of a five-year investigation conducted by ten scholars, this book describes and analyses the police, the court system, the prison apparatus, the social services, and mental health facilities in France. Combining genealogy and ethnography, its authors show that these state institutions do not simply implement laws, rules and procedures: they mobilise values and affects, judgements and emotions. In other words, they reflect the morality of the state. 

Of immense interest to both social scientists and political theorists, this work will make an important contribution to the ever expanding literature on the contemporary state.

Contents
Acknowledgments
Preface, by Didier Fassin
Introduction: Governing Precariousness, by Didier Fassin

First Part: JUDGING
1. The Right to Punish: Assessing Sentences in Immediate Appearance Trials, by Chowra Makaremi
2. Justice for Immigrants: The Work of Magistrates in Deportation Proceedings, by Nicolas Fischer
3. In Search of Truth: How Asylum Applications Are Adjudicated, by Carolina Kobelinsky

Second Part: REPRESSING
4. Maintaining Order: The Moral Justifications for Police Practices, by Didier Fassin
5. Sanctioning behind Bars: The Humanization of Retribution in Prison, by Fabrice Fernandez
6. Assisting or Controlling? When Social Workers Become Probation Officers, by Yasmine Bouagga

Third Part: SUPPORTING
7. Discipline and Educate: Contradictions within the Juvenile Justice System, by Sébastien Roux
8. The Listening to Suffering: Dealing with Mental Fragility in a Home for Adolescents, by Isabelle Coutant and Jean-Sébastien Eideliman
9. The Profiling of Job Seekers: Counseling Youths at an Employment Center, by Sarah Mazouz

Conclusion: Raisons d’État, by Didier Fassin

Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Review Quotes
Pierre Rosanvallon, Coll├Ęge de France
“Didier Fassin is one of the most imaginative social scientists of our time. As a sociologist and an anthropologist, he has profoundly renewed our understanding of the state, analyzed through the practices of its agents. At the Heart of the State should be considered not only as required reading for all scholars in the field, but also for all active citizens.”
Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge
“This is an important collection of finely wrought case studies of various institutions through which the state interacts with its most precarious populations. Uniquely, it focuses not simply on the bureaucratic logic of governance, but also on the role of effects, values, and moral judgment in shaping these interactions. This makes the book a major contribution at the too rarely visited crossroads of political and moral anthropology.”
Carol J. Greenhouse, Princeton University
“This extraordinary collection delivers novel ethnographic questions and insights with regard to the literal and figurative dilemmas of alienation and incorporation within the contemporary state. The book will be informative to scholars, advocates, and anyone interested in the future of states.”
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